Direct drilling swedes

TLD

Member
Livestock Farmer
I'm looking into direct drilling swedes this month, what's best to spray off existing grass and how long would I need to leave it until DD the swedes in? And what variety of swedes do people recommend. Thanks.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
There’s only really glyphosate to spray off the existing grass.
Assuming it’s well established grass, the decaying thatch will make the zone around the seedlings acidic. You can counter that by drilling as soon as the spray has dried on (so the swedes germinate before the thatch starts breaking down), by applying lime 5 days after spraying, or by leaving a month or so to die off properly.

I’m not sure there’s a massive difference between varieties, and little proper trial work done to compare them. I have grown Triumph a couple of times, which is claimed to be much higher yielding, but can’t say that I saw any difference. I wouldn’t pay a premium for it anyway.

As above, flea beetle are buggers and can do a lot of damage quickly. Lack of summer rain is the biggest problem with swedes here though.
 
Location
Ceredigion
I'm looking into direct drilling swedes this month, what's best to spray off existing grass and how long would I need to leave it until DD the swedes in? And what variety of swedes do people recommend. Thanks.
Kenmore, big yielder winter hardy and very good mildew resistance v , is the ground ok for Boron , I used to Direct Drill 20th May , get it in early then if you have problem due to dry weather you can redrill with Maincrop Turnips later on, the Was a lad called Richie from North Wales who did a lot of direct drilling swedes over the years but not heard from him of late
 

Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
I'm looking into direct drilling swedes this month, what's best to spray off existing grass and how long would I need to leave it until DD the swedes in? And what variety of swedes do people recommend. Thanks.
Roundup or kyleo to burn off the old sward leave a good fortnight after spraying I always do before Direct Drilling.
Traditional swede drilling is after the longest day In June as flea beetle a supposedly in lesser numbers then BUT are a serious pain when they start.
Varieties
Triumph from Germinal GB
Kenmore is available in a lot of merchants early maturing medium DM variety bred in Scotland.
Marian another medium DM variety also.
If direct drilling Natural seed ungraded I usually go at .800-1kg per acre.
Check soil PH and use a boronated fertiliser to avoid risk of Brownheart disease.
 

Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
Some DD swedes last year at a customers farm
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Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
Swedes do seem to have fallen in demand in the last few years mainly to do with the risk of flea beetle plus Fodder beet has risen in popularity especially in this area to be grazed in situ.
Unsure on establishment costs of fodder beet versus swedes though.
 
Swedes do seem to have fallen in demand in the last few years mainly to do with the risk of flea beetle plus Fodder beet has risen in popularity especially in this area to be grazed in situ.
Unsure on establishment costs of fodder beet versus swedes though.
Would love to grow swedes again but they just became to unreliable and weeds a bit of an issue as no good herbicides. I think your method of direct drilling is a good idea for swedes to conserve the moisture, I think with any brassica you want to be drilling in a more unsettled period with thunder in the forecast.
 

Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
Would love to grow swedes again but they just became to unreliable and weeds a bit of an issue as no good herbicides. I think your method of direct drilling is a good idea for swedes to conserve the moisture, I think with any brassica you want to be drilling in a more unsettled period with thunder in the forecast.
The DD system with burn off and brassicas system works very well and economical establishment.
 

Jop

Member
Location
Devon
I did a bit of an on farm trial with a few different swede varieties last year. Nothing scientific but planted Kenmore, Gowrie, Invitation and Triumph. Triumph was the most uniform and kept its leaf later than the others, Invitation almost as good. The Gowrie seemed to suffer from powdery mildew even though it is supposed to be one of the most resistant and the Kenmore had a lot of rotten bulbs and was very variable. This is in Devon so may of course be location dependent.

I think another important point with swedes is that I would often direct drill natural seed at 1kg/ha. Recommendation by the seed companies is 1kg/acre. I always feel I would rather have a thinner crop of massive bulbs than a thick crop of tennis balls, there is a lot of eating in big bulbs and wastage is less especially when the weather turns wet.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I did a bit of an on farm trial with a few different swede varieties last year. Nothing scientific but planted Kenmore, Gowrie, Invitation and Triumph. Triumph was the most uniform and kept its leaf later than the others, Invitation almost as good. The Gowrie seemed to suffer from powdery mildew even though it is supposed to be one of the most resistant and the Kenmore had a lot of rotten bulbs and was very variable. This is in Devon so may of course be location dependent.

I think another important point with swedes is that I would often direct drill natural seed at 1kg/ha. Recommendation by the seed companies is 1kg/acre. I always feel I would rather have a thinner crop of massive bulbs than a thick crop of tennis balls, there is a lot of eating in big bulbs and wastage is less especially when the weather turns wet.

0.5kg is plenty imo, IF they all germinate, but very thin if you lose many. Always a bit of a gamble.

Several of us drilling beet for grazing locally are drilling as low a seed rate as the contractor can go, which is about 40k seeds per acre (an acre pack contains 50k seeds). DM yield/ha has been shown to be higher from fewer, bigger beet, and I can’t see why any other root crop would be different.
 
Location
Ceredigion
I grew 40 acres of swedes for many years , used to trial new veriaties as well ,Invitation being one of those ,but always grew Ruta Otofte as my main veriatiy, nothing could touch it for yield and winter hardiness and very resistant to mildew , swedes could not take any weed competition and prolonged dry weather was a big issue on yield , more so than Fodder beet , I would expect direct drilling would help with weeds, a thing I never tried
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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